#PPBF: G.G. Rock Climbs

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday.

I am doing a review of a chapter book for ages 6-10. I know that many parents are moving towards chapter books as their children begin reading on their own. And, although I believe that picture books are wonderful for elementary grades even when kids are reading themselves (for so many reasons), I also know that great chapter books continue the engagement of young readers with the world of books. My favorites were Little Women, Black Beauty and ALL of the Nancy Drew series. And, if G.G. Rock Climbs by Marty Mokler Banks had been around then, I know I would not have been able to put it down.



Written by Marty Mokler Banks

Photo Illustrations by Alisa Mokler Harper

Publisher: Switch Monkey Press (2014)

Ages: 6-10 (But I was totally engaged!)


Friendship, self-esteem/self-confidence, overcoming challenges, rock climbing

Opening Lines:

“Does your mom let you have cake? With thick creamy frosting. And little flowers on top?

Well. My mom does not!

Oh, all right. Maybe on special occasions. But it seems like never. Mom says sugar is Not Good for a Healthy Body.


So when I first opened Stinky Sarah’s birthday party invitation, I immediately thought: CAKE! I get CAKE!”



From Amazon:

Eight-year-old G.G. climbs all over stuff—from the couch in her apartment to the boulders at the park. So when she’s invited to Stinky Sarah’s birthday party at Rock Star climbing gym, G.G.’s up the wall in no time. G.G. likes it so much, she and her friend, Isaac, take a rock climbing class. When they head outside, things are suddenly more difficult. Can G.G. brave those steep rock faces up Zoo Canyon?

Why I like this book:

  • Well-written, exciting page-turner that will keep kids engaged from the first page to the last
  • Love the photo-illustrations – placed at just the right points in the story – really connects you to the story and the characters
  • Great message about friendship, facing and overcoming fears, the importance of challenging ourselves

How a parent can use this book:

  • Read it with your child – great opportunity to talk about things your child would like to do but maybe is afraid to try
  • Talk about how Isaac and G.G. supported and encouraged each other


The book is available on Amazon.

If you’d like to connect with Marty Banks (she the co-coordinator of southern Colorado SCBWI) or learn more about her other books, please visit her website: http://www.martymoklerbanks.com/

Or her blog where she reviews all things chapter book: Chapter Book Chat

Related Activity:

Why not visit a local gym or play center that has a rock climbing wall for kids?


Photo courtesy: http://www.ssww.com

For AMAZING crafts and activities using rocks, stones and pebbles, please visit: http://www.kidactivities.net/post/ideas-with-stones-and-rocks-for-kids.aspx

If you are looking for more wonderful book reviews, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog. If you are a mom, teacher or librarian, please check out Susanna’s amazing Perfect Picture Book page with over 1000 categorized picture book reviews and activities.

And, because today is my grandson’s sixth birthday, here’s a yummy birthday cake – please help yourselves to a BIG slice!

5th bday

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on October 9, 2014, in Facing Fears, Friendship, Perfect Picture Book Friday, Picture Book Review, Rock Climbing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.

  1. Catherine Johnson

    This sounds great for Matthew. Happy Birthday to your grandson, Vivian!


  2. What a great review, Vivian! It definitely made me want to check out this book. Thanks for taking the time to review a fun chapter book in addition to picture books.Congratulations to Marty Banks for her creativity! .


  3. WoW … the book sounds wonderful … and so does a Birthday for a special six-year-old. Birthday blessings, sweet grandson. Thank you for sharing that yummy slice of life.


    • Glad to share, Barbara! Tomorrow he is having a party at one of those gym places…with 25 school friends – what fun! Thank you for the birthday blessings, dear friend. And I have not forgotten about the review of YOUR incredible book…it is coming soon!


  4. this would have appealed to the adventuresome kid inside me.


  5. I love how the rock climber is a girl. Seems like a Girl Power book to me. *Yay!*

    thanks for introducing this book to us! 🙂


  6. So excited to see a second book in the G.G. series – my 9 y.o. daughter loved the 1st one! Thanks so much for sharing both books and cake!


  7. Ooh! I was a rock climber for 20 years and guide for 5, so I know well how confidence-building this sport is. And with the advent of climbing gyms back in the early 90’s the sport has become very popular! And yes, so true that the gym experience is vastly different form the real cliffs and it’s good to let people know that. I will have to get this book for my climbing friends’ kids!


    • I’m so glad I reviewed it, Iza…Marty did an awesome job…I love the authentic voice of the mc. And I am IMPRESSED beyond words…a rock climber AND guide…WOW! I believe experiences like those empower us for the other areas of our lives. 🙂


    • Yes, they do, Vivian. I wasn’t confident or assertive and didn’t like myself much when I was a child and young adult. The climbing absolutely empowered me and helped shape who I am today.


      • I love that, Iza! I wish parents today would realize how important it is for kids to conquer mountains…literally and figuratively. Kids feel so GOOD about themselves when they have accomplished something like climbing a mountain or scaling a rock face, even if it is in an indoor gym. 🙂


  8. I’m looking for chapter books for my 8-year-old granddaughter. This is a great suggestion and I think she will like it. Great activities for parents.


  9. If rock-climbing had been available as a birthday party option, my daughter would definitely have wanted it. G.G. reminds me of my Little Miss HISTORY character. Have to look at this one!


  10. Stacy S. Jensen

    Glad you added it to the list. I read this recently! It’s a fun one and of course, I love Marty’s work. Fun to see two books on the list that I’ve read and that are from people I know.


  11. Happy birthday to Jeremy! I love that Marty’s G.G. series is all about getting out and getting physical while learning new skills. Reading and exercise my two favorite things. G.G. is very engaging and you can’t help but root for her. I look forward to reading this one.


    • You will LOVE it Sheri! G.G is a real girl…so true in her language and actions. Marty did a great job. And I love that G.G learns to overcome her fears…and learns to appreciate the birthday girl for more than cake. 🙂 🙂


  12. My daughter climbed for a while when she was very young – amazed to see her fearlessness at that time!


  13. This sounds like my kind of book! Happy birthday to your grandson! 🙂


  14. Yay! for birthdays!! Happy day to all of you! Will you be climbing any rocks?


    • Not today, Rhythm…although I do love hiking in the mountains and the woods. But tomorrow we are going to a b-day party for my grandson at an activity gym place…they might have a climbing wall…Jeremy loves those. 😉


  15. What an excellent book. I used to take my niece rock climbing when she flew from Australia every year since 8 years old to spend two weeks with us during school holidays. Had so much fun with her. Wish I knew of it then. She’s grown up now. Lady of 16 going on 46… if you get what I mean… LOL. Thanks for sharing and Happy Birthday to you sweet grandson. Enjoy the time, they grow soooo fast.


  16. Thanks for doing the review, Vivian. And yes to all the Girl Power comments! We’re all a lot stronger than we sometimes think. An especially important message for the young! I hope the birthday celebration was wonderful, and my, my, my that looked like delicious cake!


    • It was delicious, Marty! Thanks for stopping by to say hello! I think people are excited about your series…I’m going to get both books for my grandtwins in Colorado and for an 8 year old niece…I told her about it and she’s looking forward to reading them. 🙂


  17. Happy Birthday to Jeremy! What a happy face he has 🙂 Thanks for the book review too!


  18. I’m so glad I took the time to check last week’s reviews. This kooks like a terrific book. Thanks.


  1. Pingback: Marty Mokler Banks: Will Write for Cookies | Picture Books Help Kids Soar

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